Shropshire Star

Mayor pushed bed for 18 miles as part of campaign to re-open hospital to inpatients

A market town's mayor and a set of volunteers were given a rousing send-off on an 18-mile bed push that aims to boost a hospital campaign group.


A large crowd gathered outside Bishop's Castle Community Hospital in the morning to see the big yellow specially-manufactured bed trundle out of town with town mayor Josh Dickin on top.

On Bank Holiday Monday afternoon the campaign's fundraising page showed that the £1,500 target has been smashed, reaching £1,700 with around £200 pledged in just a matter of hours.

Mayor Dickin was festooned in a blonde wig to reflect the Save our Beds campaign campaign colours.

Nic Watson, of the group that's campaigning to re-open 16 beds at the town's much loved community hospital, said they are preparing for a key decision by the Shropshire Community NHS Trust on September 7. Other services at the community hospital remain open.

Mr Watson said: "We do not know what the decision will be yet but we are aiming to raise money to pay for publicity materials and a possible legal challenge.

"Our ambition is to work with the health authorities but we may have to launch a legal challenge."

He said the bed push was a "really fun idea", adding: "Lots of people are getting involved and reaching out to the areas around Bishop's Castle."

The bed push is part of a campaign to keep beds at Bishop's Castle Community Hospital

Mr Watson said the hospital is vital to a large swathe of rural south Shropshire and to people over the border in Powys.

The mayor has even done some fact-finding of his own as he recently headed to Northumberland to meet campaigners behind a successful campaign in a similar community.

In Bishop's Castle campaigners are battling to re-open 16 beds at the town's community hospital. The health trust plans to make a decision on whether to hand back the beds contract at a meeting in September.

The mayor said all money raised will be accounted for by the Community Hospital League Of Friends with a member of the campaign group acting as a sub treasurer.

The route is a total of just over 18 miles, starting at Bishop's Castle Hospital and heading via Colebatch, Acton, Clun, Clunton, Purslow, Kempton, Lydbury North and Brockton. The mayor added that they will 'maybe' be stopping at a pub or two.

The fundraising page is at